Let’s do lunch. We need to talk.

The Minister of Worship and Arts at church sent me an email very similar to that yesterday. Well, that’s how I read it. It really just said “can you do lunch?” My reply simply asked for more information so I could better be prepared for the reaming I was expecting to receive. He wanted to talk about an upcoming worship concert, the band, our technical ministry team, and lastly, dealing with criticism from church members. So we met at California Pizza Kitchen for lunch.
It ended up being an amazing discussion about passion, worship and ministry. My respect for this guy went up considerably. You see, we’re fighting a not-so-unique battle in our church. The church is a pretty strict Southern Baptist congregation, founded in 1959 and has a pretty fair number of charter members still around. We serve up two services, a traditional and a contemporary to try to minister to those charter members as well as the community in which we live. It’s a very delicate balance.

There have been very few times in my life that I’ve felt a very strong calling from God to do something. The most recent (besides starting The Company), was marrying The Wife. Here’s what I’ve learned about myself during those times. I’m an idiot. I say “okay, God, cool. Now you’ve called me, I’ll take it from here.” See the problem?

Here’s what else I’ve learned. If I get out of the way, step out of the boat, and let God do His thing with me, success is inevitable. I can’t fail.

How does this relate to my lunch? Part of what he wanted to do was simply encourage me (something I desperately needed). He knows the struggles we’re facing there financially, gaining acceptance, and finding passionate servants to help us lead. My response to him went something like this, “I know God is leading every thing that I do as part of our ministry. The criticism is one of two things – constructive or Satan – and I turn it over to God to help me discern. If we are going to truly make a difference in our community, we must step out our comfort zone as a church and follow His lead.” This is the only way I can stay in my current position, put in the hours I do, and take the criticism I do – because He is calling me to do so.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been more confident of what it is I’m supposed to be doing with my life.